DALLAS — While much of the buzz at the AHR Expo was on dwindling supplies of new HCFC-22, reclamation of that refrigerant, and use of alternative HFCs in retrofits, a number of conversations centered on alternatives beyond familiar HFCs. Even with the regulatory landscape unclear, the high global warming potential (GWP) of some HFCs was causing a stir on the show floor.
While HFC-410A was firmly encamped as the refrigerant of choice for air conditioning in a large number of applications, its high GWP was turning attention in Dallas to use of HFC-32 as a stand-alone refrigerant. HFC-410A, which was introduced to the industry more than a decade ago as an alternative to R-22 in new equipment, carries a high GWP. R-32 has a much lower GWP (675 vs. 2088). This is a topic that has been in the industry for a number of years, since it first surfaced as a high-profile topic in 2010 at industry conferences hosted by Purdue University.